For our entrepreneur interview, today, we’re featuring Gail, the founder of Raw Bites. I don’t remember where I saw Raw Bites, but I remember thinking that this was such a cool idea!  This is a sample of a box that you can get from Raw Bites. So to tell you more about this amazing idea and brand, here is their story!

Raw bites was founded by Nathania Gail Go & Jane Heather Dee. Gail is not your average girl. An MBA graduate, she has eight years of marketing experience in consumer packaged goods, advertising, and retail in the food and beverage market. She loves peanut butter and toast with a side of jam or banana in the mornings. Her favorite snacks are savoury popcorn, especially White Cheddar and Chocnut. When not working, she goes for outdoor workouts, watches Korean shows or old chick flicks and loves to daydream.

Jane worked with various international start-ups until she finally decided to start her own. She’s a natural at all things technical, from building websites to managing e-commerce sites. Her favorite snack is granola with fresh fruit and yogurt, or a berry smoothie any time of the day. If she’s not busy on her laptop or setting up meetings, she loves to play with her dogs or prepare for her next trip. 

Both Gail & Jane have been friends since their grade school years.

 

Interview Questions:

Ginger: What is your Startup/brand/business? What is it about? How long have you been in business?

Gail: Our business is called Raw Bites – it’s the first healthy snacks subscription box in the Philippines; think the newest superfoods, wholefood bars, nut butters, veggie and fruit chips, protein balls, raw chocolates, freeze dried fruits, super blends or gluten-free cereals. The business just launched its website last Feb 15th and had its first box shipment in April. Since then, it has shipped close to 1000 boxes to consumers and businesses.

Ginger: Who is your target market? Why did you choose this market? Can you give us the insight behind this market?

Gail: Main target market are women ages 25-40 years old who reside in metro cities (metro manila, cebu, davao, and the like). Their buying motivation is to have a healthier diet and lifestyle and try new niche products that are not available from local players.

Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?

Gail: We really started with the idea of just bringing in healthy snacks into the Philippines since both of us have been exposed to these great-tasting healthy snacks while we were based abroad. But we didn’t want to be just a grocery store, we wanted to promote a more holistic lifestyle where we can promote good nutrition and healthy living.

We understand that being healthy here is quite a challenge especially if you’re stuck in an office job, let alone the traffic that you have to endure everyday. Although we do not promise any weight-loss or some form of healing by eating our snacks, we know that by substituting your regular junk-food chips for one of our bars, you’re on your way to a healthier and fitter you!

Our box doesn’t just include healthy snacks, we also partnered with like-minded brands to complement our products. These would be in the form of vouchers (i.e. trial passes to a fitness studio, discounts, etc)

Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming an Entrepreneur? What are these?

Gail: Becoming an entrepreneur is exciting and scary at the same time. It is the letting go of a steady salary and pretty much starting from scratch. What we pay ourselves now is really nothing compared to how much we could earn if we kept our current jobs but we both knew that if we didn’t leave our previous jobs and did Raw Bites as a part-time, it wouldn’t be as successful as it could be. Luckily, we have our support group – family, partners, and each other to keep ourselves going.

Ginger: What are the greatest challenges in putting up and maintaining a business in your country?

Gail: In full honesty, doing business in the Philippines is very challenging – probably one of the toughest place to do a start-up. Where processes should only take days or maximum a week on other countries, it takes months here. However, we are both strong-willed so we find ways in which we can succeed. We always have contingency plans when things go as planned. We always remind ourselves that our attitude is how we differentiate ourselves from those who settle for what’s just the norm here.

Ginger: What are three traits that you think an Entrepreneur/Startup Founder should have when starting their own business?

Gail: Resilience, patience, and humility. Resilience to conquer challenges. Patience to fully dedicate themselves 24/7 without immediate results. Humility to learn from other and their own mistakes.

Ginger: Unforgettable moments or lessons that you learned as an Entrepreneur/Startup Founder

Gail: That first sale from a friend. That first sale from a stranger. That first month when we sold out. That first delivery. That first partnership. Too many unforgettable moments that we’ll always remember.

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Entrepreneurs?

Gail: Do your business plan – from vision to financial projections to marketing plan even if you’re just doing it for yourself. A business plan forces you to assess possible scenarios and see the potential of a business idea. Don’t be afraid to share it to someone. Don’t be afraid to change it. Don’t be afraid to make iterations even if you’ve launched your business. Know what your strengths are and outsource where you’re weak at. Everyday is a learning process.

Ginger: Do you believe that everyone should become entrepreneurs?

Gail: No. It takes a certain personality to be able to be a full-fledged entrepreneur.

Ginger: What are ways that you can do to raise capital?

Gail: Start with your own. Then approach friends and family – people you really trust. Make sure you keep the biggest share % so that when you need another round of fundraising, you don’t dilute yourself too much.

There are also other ways like crownsourcing, angel investment, VCs, etc. but know the pros & cons for such. Remember, the more external capital you receive, the less ownership you have of your business.

Ginger: How do you market your products? Growth strategy?

Gail: It really depends on your target market. We do a lot of digital marketing esp. since people can only subscribe online. We partner with like-minded brands. We activate in relevant events. We aim provide amazing customer service as we rely on repeat purchases.

Ginger: What are tech tools that you use for your business?

Gail: Nothing too special – Shopify for our e-commerce site (although we had to customize it a lot, thanks to Jane), Adobe Creative Suite for all our graphics (thanks to Gail), FB and IG ads, Mailchimp for newsletter, and Quickbooks for accounting (on top of our real accountant).

Ginger: Other things that you want to mention which you think are important

Email us at hello@rawbites.com.ph if you have any more questions… but please don’t ask us where we had our box made. We get that a lot.

Ginger: haha! Thank you so much for your time, Gail! 🙂 More power to your company!

 

Contact information about your business:

Website – rawbites.com.ph

Email address – hello@rawbites.com.ph

Mobile Number – +63 917 839 2268

Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/rawbitesbox/

Twitter account – @rawbitesbox

Instagram account – @rawbitesbox

Pinterest, etc. – @rawbitesbox

Each day that you come home, do you feel relaxed and at peace? Do you feel that your home is a place where you can relax, feel safe and secure? There was a time two months ago when I felt so stressed even while at home. Thinking about the reason why this was the case, it knew that it was because of all the things scattered around the house. Our things were a mess — therefore, I felt my life was a mess, too.

I know it may sound ridiculous to you, but studies really show that a messy home or office hampers productivity. Since I work from home, this is important to me. Luckily, I have a friend who is a consultant for people who want to tidy up their home using the Konmari Method.

The Konmari Method was developed by Marie Kondo. She’s the author of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying: A Simple, Effective Way To Banish Clutter Forever and Spark Joy, Her method is being used widely by people who want to declutter their homes. I actually started decluttering using Marie Kondo’s method since last month. I haven’t finished yet, because it’s been soooo hard letting go of stuff! But I seriously believe in the KonMari Method and how it transforms our homes into peaceful, inspiring spaces.

So are you ready? Here are the steps:

1. Visualize your picture perfect home! Yes, everything starts from knowing how you want your home to look. Also, visualize the lifestyle that you want. Then ask yourself why you want to live a life like this. In business, the WHYs are important. In decluttering, your WHYs are important, too!

2. Declutter by category, not by part of the house. The KonMari Method says follow these categories: CLOTHES then BOOKS then PAPER then KOMONO (miscellaneous items) then SENTIMENTAL ITEMS. Marie explains further in detail each category into sub-categories.

3. The way to tidy-up is to place all items from one category in a spot in your home and only keep items that spark joy! Instead of throwing items away, be sure to thank them for the memories and happiness that each item gave. If you are unsure whether an item sparks joy, hold it and hug it! The KonMari method is a very emotional process..
After you tidy up, this is when you think about the proper storage.

I’m so bad though, because I skipped PAPER! Haha! So I finished tidying up my clothes and went straight to tidying up my kitchen. Before you judge me for not following the KonMari Method, the reason why I really wanted to fix the kitchen was because this is where we cook and prepare food. Also, this is the part that is exposed to a lot of house guests. We usually have boardgame nights, so I really want my kitchen to be picture perfect, neat and clean.

These were the before pictures of my kitchen. As you can see, we have been using a lot of stuff here for 5 years already. It was time to buy new things!

As you can see, I badly needed new pots and pans, a new oven, etc. Also, I didn’t get to take a picture of the insides of the cabinets, but they were all a mess!

Here I am tidying up:

After this, I went to S&R Membership Club to look for things that “sparked joy”. It was perfect since they were having the S&R Members Treat — the time when you can get a lot of things at affordable prices (some even drop to as low as 50%).

Shopping at S&R for the S&R Members Treat!

Here are the things that we saw!

Celestial Tea that brews in cold water! How cool is that!

For my kitchen… Hampton Forge Knives!

Nice Kitchen Towels! Again, buying this for my kitchen!

Another item for my kitchen! Arkwright home rugs!

These are the other things that we bought at great prices!

Essential Home 25 Piece Mega Cookware Set

With Ariel! (let’s not forget that we need to wash our clothes after tidying up.. hehe!)

 

A new electric oven!

 

Different variants of SPAM! Because Daddy loves SPAM!

 

And snacks for us, because WE love snacks!

 

And E. Wedel Chocolate and Cadbury, too!

So, do you want to see the after photos of my kitchen?

TADAAAAA!

new pots and pans!!! Sorry, i’ll remove the plastic pa!

Check out the kitchen towel from S&R! Color coordinated!

Better stock up on food!

Super linis na! wooohooo!

Super clean! Even our dishwashing soap is aqua (also from S&R)!

I’m so proud of my little picture perfect kitchen!

If you want to do a makeover of your kitchen or of any part of your home to make it “Picture Perfect”, head on to S&R Membership Club! The S&R Members treat sale will happen from September 27 – October 01, 2017 (Wednesday to Sunday). It will happen in all 13 warehouse clubs nationwide. Again, this sae is exclusively for S&R members. Most of the items will be on sale (up to 50% off), Buy 1 Take 1 deals and lots of other great deals!

Follow these links for more information! After you’ve achieved your picture perfect kitchen, can we see it, too? Use #LoveSnR #SnREveryday #SnRMembersTreat2017 🙂 Happy shopping!

Facebook: snrmembershipshopping
Instagram: snr_official
Twitter: @snr_official

Faces. When I look at different faces — faces of loved ones, faces of friends, faces of acquaintances, faces of strangers, I think about the beauty and the mystery of life. Each face that I remembered tonight was seconds, minutes, hours or years of memories that made up my LIFE. How amazing is that? If you look at your life, how many faces have you seen? How many faces have actually taken up moments in your life?

In 7 days, i’ll turn 37. 37 is actually not a bad age. I think it’s actually the perfect time to contemplate on past actions and on choices that I’ve made, and still have ample time to work on more things.

I know my life isn’t perfect. I am not perfect. And I know that behind the faces that we have are complex individuals that sometimes others may not expect or even comprehend. Sometimes, we can’t even understand our own actions. But behind these complexities, we all have the same objective. Our objective is to be the best version of ourselves for whatever we believe we may encounter in the future (whether it be a God that we believe in, a divine being, reincarnation, etc.). So whatever we believe will happen to us after our death, we’re prepared and we know that we have acted accordingly to reach that “goal” or acted in accordance to what we believe is true to our nature.

I wish that life was that easy.

I wish that life could be as simple as choosing what’s right and avoiding what’s wrong, choosing good over evil. The reality though is that life presents us with tough choices. Some of these choices may all be “good”, depending on who “sees” it or who’s affected by the decision. And some may be bad, but sometimes, different factors can even blur that line of an act being “bad or a sin”.

In the past year, I’ll start with two things that I learned from my own experiences and from what I have observed. Do you know what these are?

It’s that life is made out of several (let’s say) time components, and when you see a single part or a moment in a person’s life, you cannot judge nor draw conclusions. This is because, you haven’t seen all of the components. And another thing is that you only have control over your own actions and decisions. You cannot and should not think or event attempt to control another person’s life. These two points (I think) are the basic premises of respect.

So keeping this in mind, we should not punish ourselves for broken time components, because we know that we can do better and make the next components better. In doing good, we don’t need to brag, broadcast or tell the world about those amazing moments, because what really matters is that you enjoyed those moments, you were present and that you will forever remember them.

So there. Those are my thoughts on this night. Those are the thoughts that came to my mind while remembering the faces, the feelings and the random moments in my life. On this night, 7 days before my birthday, I wish all of you clarity, empathy and hope that would help you live the rest of your lives in happiness and love. 🙂

We’ve been looking for schools now to Zeeka for next year. I’m still not decided as to where to send her. If I had the time though, I would have homeschooled her. I remember someone telling me that she thought I was homeschooling Zeeka, because I seemed like the “type”. But to be honest, there is no stereotype when it comes to the parent that would homeschool. Actually, any one can homeschool!

I was part of the organizing committee of the annual Homeschooling Conference last 2013 to 2015, and even if I let go of being part of the team, I will support them until forever! haha! I love these ladies to bits!

So for those of you who want to learn more about homeschooling, Homeschool Association of the Philippine Islands, or HAPI is inviting you to this event. HAPI is an organization that hopes to see home education recognised as an available and respected form of education, shaping leaders and movers who will build our nation. HAPI aims to do this by equipping organisations and homeschooling groups in growing the national movement and, thus, build the nation through homeschooling.

The annual Philippine Homeschool Conference by HAPI is one of the ways that they reach out and strengthen the community. The Philippine Homeschool Conference is a gathering full of information and inspiration for people who want to learn more about homeschooling, are just starting out, or want to improve their homeschooling experience. Aside from the talks, the attendees can get to visit different booths, purchase materials and get to know more about services and programs that may aid them in their homeschooling.

To purchase a ticket, just click on this link: http://www.educatingforlife.co/philippine-homeschool-conference-2017

I love cheese! I can eat cheese sandwich for breakfast, lunch and dinner without complaining! Do you know that you yourself can make cheese or butter from milk? Do you want to learn how?

I actually learned about this from the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB), an instrumentality of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, when they recently held a cheese forum to educate Filipino mommies and cooks on the different kinds of California cheeses.

There are different kinds of California cheeses and each one has its own unique qualities – from soft and soft ripened, semi-hard, hard, to Hispanic. This was mentioned by “The Cheese Dude” Mark Todd. He is a cheese expert and consultant for respected dairy organisations in America. He also mentioned that we can  recreate these cheeses at home using Real California Milk. I was so surprised as we drink Real California Milk at home!

“The availability of California cheeses in most supermakets gives you the convenience of adding more texture and flavor to your dish when you need it,” said Todd. “However, in case you’re looking for a specific taste for your dish, you can experiment creating your own cheese using Real California Milk at home,” he added.

Queso blanco and butter are some of the cheese products you can recreate using Real California Milk.

“Dairy products made with Real California Milk are packed with flavor because they are produced by well-fed cows from family farms in California,” said Reji Retugal-Onal, CMAB Country Representative. “They are also filled with nutrients like protein, calcium, Vitamin D, and potassium that are needed by both children and adults, according to MyPlate, the US Department of Agriculture’s food guide,” she added.

California dairy products are available in leading supermarkets nationwide such as Rustan’s, S&R, Robinsons Supermarket, and SM.

To learn more about Real California Milk and other dairy products made with Real California Milk, visit their website at www.realcaliforniamilk.com or their Facebook page at Real California Milk.